|In our business at ilume, we work with Executives who tell us that their level of self-awareness is well and truly developed.
Very often a person’s self assessment is that they are ‘present’; for most of the time at work and home, that they recognise the importance of being so, and that their experience has brought this skill to life for them.
by Angela Neighbours
That may well be the case, however, in today’s busy world full of growth expectations and targets, doing more with less, restructures and organisation redesign, how realistic is this?
Awareness is a discipline – a daily practice of losing the ‘inner voice’, and the opportunity to look at every moment of our day as precious moments that we will never have again, and which ought to be consumed with great joy and alacrity. Coupled with using the right language and bringing our whole self to any situation, when fully aware we can approach problems that need to be solved and reach new conclusions.
Awareness is the determination to be different – to change how we have previously reacted to situations, and to make a difference to others. We are no longer defined by our history, our role in life, our qualifications, our title – we are just ‘being’. From our experience the de-railers for being ‘aware’ are:
“Its all about me” – We all have our self-destruct buttons that cause unnecessary stress – waking in the night, not eating well or exercising, travelling incessantly, early morning alarm calls, constant pressure at work, below par performance or results, poor leadership that leads to resignations, reacting poorly to feedback, and the inner voice that chatters incessantly giving us the seemingly wrong view of what is going on.
“What will others think of me?” – Worrying about what others think – your boss, your parents, your partner, your children, your friends – the list is endless – will inevitably mean that your ability to be with the present is just not possible. Ask yourself – “Who are you doing this for? For yourself or others?” Can you control another’s thoughts? Let it go!
Worrying about something in the future – We all have things to do for the first time – an important Board Meeting, a job interview, a presentation to large groups of people, a new boss, a restructure, even physically stretching challenges like climbing a mountain or walking an arduous track. An active mind works overtime on – can I do this, will I be at my best, will what I say be the right ideas, will my body manage to cope, will my new boss like me, will my brain give me the best answers. Being totally present – in the moment right now – may be helpful to address the content of a presentation, practice it and gain confidence, and provide adequate preparation, but worrying about it and trying to find answers to questions that may not happen will do no good at all. The goal again is to be fully present at the time, build relationships and allow the flow of what is about to unfurl to happen.
Know Who You Are – There are many labels that we all carry – leader, manager, mother, father, partner, daughter, son, provider, bill-payer, farmer, accountant, lawyer, business owner – the list is long – but who are you really? When you are defined by your label, you are not fully aware. What is deeply embedded in you? How can you bring this forward to allow you to be fully present? How can you be your best transparent self? Take your mask off! Take a breath. And decide to take advantage of what being fully aware can bring you. Spend time each day with yourself. Write a journal. Observe what is around you. Appreciate the beauty of nature. Look out the window. There is an amazing world out there!
This article was originally posted on the ilume blog
|By Angela Neighbours
Director at ilume International Pty Limited, Australia